This article first appeared in the Oxford Mail. You can read it here. Two years ago I arrived at Gatwick airport with my wife and baby son having fled the conflict in Syria. We were met by our community sponsors who had volunteered to support my family as we rebuilt our lives in Oxford. Their support has been life-changing for me and my family. Just two years into our new lives here, we’re speaking English, working, and now supporting other vulnerable people in Oxford... continue reading (5 min)


Inspired by the community spirit that has grown in the UK in recent months, new Community Sponsorship Groups are forming to sponsor refugees so that they can reach safety in the UK.  Here's a map showing the locations of all Community Sponsorship Groups as of mid-July 2020. This includes Groups who are just getting started right through to Groups who have already welcomed refugee families.  If you want to get involved in your local Community Sponsorship... continue reading (2 min)


Community Sponsorship naturally attracts people who want to help others. You get involved in Community Sponsorship because you want to help refugees in a practical way. But sometimes helping people can disempower them. So how do you empower newly arrived refugees rather than simply help them? As someone who has welcomed a refugee family through Community Sponsorship, I can tell you this is much easier said than done (especially when Coronavirus comes along!). Like all Community... continue reading (5 min)


Once you submit your application to the Home Office, the Community Sponsorship team will get busy checking to make sure you’ve submitted all of your additional documents, dotted all your I’s and crossed all your T’s. They may come back to you with some clarifying questions (not to worry, this happens to most Community Sponsorship Groups!) and then they’ll get in touch to schedule your pre-approval visit (PAV). What is a PAV? The PAV is a meeting that allows the Home Office to make a more... continue reading (3 min)


Ellie is a member of 2 Community Sponsorship Groups in Cornwall and has more than 20 years' experience in education. A few years ago I moved to Cornwall, where I became part of one of the first Community Sponsorship groups, in Bude. I got involved for a few reasons. First and foremost, I wanted to support refugees. Second, this seemed like a good way to get to know people in my local area (which it has been!). And third, I thought my professional experience could be really useful in this... continue reading (5 min)